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703 pages, Hardcover
First published January 1, 1859
"Mr. Hudson is a strong disbeliever in evolution, but he appears to have been much struck by the imperfect instincts of the Molothrus Bonariensis that he quotes my words and asks, 'must we consider these habits not as an especially endowed or created instincts but as small consequences of one general law, namely transitions?' "I take from the above that Darwin was enjoying the irony of a naturalist from the creationist camp finding it difficult to attribute to God the endowment of the slothful nest making habits to the cowbird. Since the behavior is repugnant it must have been caused by that old nasty evolution stuff (i.e. the work of the devil).
Thus, from the war of nature, from famine and death, the most exalted object which we are capable of conceiving, namely, the production of the higher animals, directly follows. There is grandeur in this view of life, with its several powers, having been originally breathed into a few forms or into one; and that, whilst this planet has gone cycling on according to the fixed law of gravity, from so simple a beginning endless forms most beautiful and most wonderful have been, and are being, evolved.